Agenda and draft minutes

Audit Committee - Tuesday 30 April 2024 6.45 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Third Floor, Southwater One, Telford TF3 4JG

Contact: Jayne Clarke  01952 383205

Items
No. Item

AU38

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

None.

AU39

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 251 KB

To confirm the minutes of the previous meeting held on 31 January 2024.

Minutes:

RESOLVED – that the minutes of the meeting held on 31 January 2024 be confirmed and signed by the Chair.

AU40

Draft Statement of Accounts 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 6 MB

To receive the draft Statement of Accounts in line with the requirements of the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Finance Manager provided Members with an update on the audit of the Council’s accounts for 2022/23 and presented the Statement of Accounts for approval.   The External Auditors had substantially completed the audit and delegated authority was sought to make any final changes required prior to publication.  The Chief Financial Officer certified the draft statement of accounts in May 2023 in accordance with the Accounts and Audit (England) Regulations 2015 and associated Amendment regulations and had been made available for public inspection and provided to the external auditors.

 

The 2021/22 audit had been delayed due to a number of factors, including a sector wide technical matter relating to the reporting of infrastructure assets and the requirement to consider post-balance sheet events, such as the impact of the Pension Fund triennial evaluation and Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC).   A significant number of local audits in England were outstanding. The government, working with the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) and other system partners, were taking steps to clear the backlog and put the system on a sustainable footing moving forward. The proposed changes to the Accounts and Audit Regulations would require Category 1 authorities, like Telford & Wrekin Council, to publish audited accounts for financial years 2015/16 to 2022/23 by 30 September 2024.  While unfortunately delayed, Grant Thornton had now substantially completed the audit for the 2022/23 Statement of Accounts and it was anticipated an unqualified audit opinion would be received well ahead of the proposed backstop deadline.

 

A number of changes to the accounts had been identified, which have been discussed and agreed by the External Auditors and were set out in the report.  The changes did not affect the outturn position or General Fund Balance which remained as reported to Cabinet on 15 June 2023.

 

Following approval, and any final changes required, the Statement of Accounts would be published on the Council’s web site and a copy circulated to Audit Committee Members.

 

During the debate, some Members raised the provision for single status and the impact on general reserves and what would be the deadline for the 2023/24 accounts to be finalised.

 

The Finance Manager and the Interim Director: Finance & Human Resources explained that the Single Status Provision had been reclassified as a reserve due to there being no equal pay claims to date. A provision is usually included where there is certainty over liabilities due which isn’t currently the case with Single Status, therefore a reserve is more appropriate.  In relation to the 2023/24 Statement of Accounts, the proposed back stop date was early 2025 and the Council was in a good place with progress being discussed with KPMG the Council’s new External Auditors.

 

Upon being put to the vote it was, unanimously:

 

RESOLVED – that:

 

a)    the 2022/23 Statement of Accounts be approved;

 

b)   authority be granted to the Chair to sign the Letter of Representation; and

 

c)    delegated authority be granted to the Interim Director: Finance & Human Resources, following consultation with the Chair, to make any final changes required  ...  view the full minutes text for item AU40